THIS IS AN EXHIBITION ABOUT COOKERY BOOKS AND THE PLACE OF COOKING IN TASMANIA and the place of cooking in Tasmanian history and society. It marks 150 years since the introduction of salmon to Tasmanian waters, and since the publication of the first Australian cookery book.
The exhibition is entitled ‘Stuffing the porcupine’. Here is the link for you to look at it from home.
A highlight of the exhibition according to the museum is the first Australian cookery book.
The first cookery book -‘Australian Aristologist’
Acknowledged as Australia’s first cookbook, The English and Australian Cookery Book. Cookery for the Many, as Well as for the Upper Ten Thousand (London, 1864) was written by Edward Abbott, a Hobart landowner, newspaper publisher, member of the Tasmanian Parliament and ‘aristologist’.
Edward Abbott was born in Sydney but moved to Hobart Town in February 1815 as a young boy with his father who had taken a posting of deputy-judge-advocate. The family prospered and in 1818 young Edward became clerk to his father. He continued to work in the Lieutenant Governor’s Court until 1824, then became a pastoralist, having received land grants of 1100 acres (445 ha) on the Derwent River in 1823.
In 1828 he was made a justice of the peace. Later, he exhausted his fortune in his relentless pursuit of a claim against the government over the ownership of 210 acres (85 ha) of land known as the Launceston swamp. Winning in the end, he was awarded a settlement which was less than he had anticipated.
Publication of the cookery book was probably an attempt to recover his fortunes.
Although published pseudonymously, by ‘an Australian Aristologist’, the book was known to be Abbott’s work. It is a collection of gastronomic miscellany of ‘the modern cookery of the mother country and the colonies’, and of Continental and Hebrew cookery. Recipes include ‘Roast Beef of Old England’, ‘kangaroo steamer’ and ‘slippery bob’ — a dish of battered kangaroo brains fried in emu fat!
At the Allport Library and Museum of Fine Arts, ground floor, 91 Murray Street, Hobart, telephone 03 6165 5584.
Open 16 May to 16 August 2014.